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Whitties Earn Prestigious PPIA Fellowships

Juniors Kate Moe ’25 and Meron Semere ’25 will study at top public policy schools this summer

By Bradley Nelson

Two Whitman College juniors were recently named 2024 Junior Summer Institute fellows by the Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Program. Hosted at some of the top graduate policy schools in the country, these rigorous summer programs prepare students for advanced education and success in the field of public service.

Meron Semere ’25Meron Semere ’25, a first-generation college student who is pursuing a major in Economics and minors in Religion and Computer Science, was awarded a fellowship at Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. She first learned about the program from Salma Anguiano ’22, a former Junior Summer Institute fellow, and was thrilled to be accepted at the same school as Anguiano.

“Carnegie Mellon stands out as it combines the school of information systems and public policy into one college,” Semere says. “It aligns seamlessly with my career aspirations in data science and public policy.

After graduate school, Semere hopes to pursue a career in the transportation industry, public policy within big tech or consulting in the public sector.

Kate Moe ’25Kate Moe ’25, who is majoring in Politics at Whitman with minors in Rhetoric and Philosophy, was awarded a fellowship at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She was ecstatic to hear she had been accepted.

“I knew it was incredibly competitive, but my major advisor has helped me to realize the joy that is studying public policy,” Moe says. “I was always scared to make the jump into pursuing a master’s degree. This program sets it up nicely for going into higher education and completing courses that can be relevant in a wide variety of ways when applying for grad school. I will also have direct connections at the University of Michigan if I wish to pursue a master’s in public policy there.”

Moe hopes to pursue a career in refugee or disability policy and submitted her fellowship application while abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she studied International Refugee Law.

Both students are grateful for the encouragement and support they received from Whitman staff and faculty during the application process. Whitman students who are interested in applying for this or other fellowships are invited to contact the Fellowships and Grants team.

Lifelong Career Connections

PPIA fellows receive career coaching while in the program and ongoing access to an alumni network of more than 5,000 public service leaders. Their coursework, materials and housing during the six-week program are fully funded. They also receive a stipend to assist with summer travel, food and other expenses.

PPIA fellows are also eligible to receive application fee waivers and additional fellowships when applying to public and international affairs programs in the PPIA Graduate School Consortium, which includes more than 50 participating graduate institutions across the nation.

Published on Mar 20, 2024
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